The Military Brotherhoods – The Confraternity of the Starship and Sword



The Confraternity is a relatively new Military Brotherhood, but it is also one of the fastest growing.  Relatively poor as far as such organizations go, the brothers of the Confraternity are eager to make their mark.  Given the Confraternity’s somewhat dubious origin, this has made a number of planets extremely wary of them, but they have acquitted themselves well, putting their past successfully behind them.

Unlike the Caractacan Brotherhood, the Confraternity has no one founder.  The First Brothers were in fact a mercenary company working the Sobretan Circuit.  The Circuit is perhaps misnamed; there is no formal agreement as to what systems comprise it, and many trouble spots that are considered parts of it are actually outside the Sobretan Sector.  Many of the worlds on the Circuit are perpetual flashpoints, many of them jointly colonized by outsystem factions that then had a falling out.  They are not necessarily always made up of different races, either.  Some of the nastiest wars have been human on human, or forvak on forvak.

Some of the older members of Rheloman’s Company, a mix of humans, forvaks, gordoks, and sefkhit, were talking one day, and hatched on the plan to start their own Military Brotherhood.  No one can be sure of their exact motivation.  The Confraternity’s founding documents are full of high ideals and a story about the First Brothers’ weariness at the constant wars and corruption they had seen.  Some of it is doubtless true.  There are other tales told, however, that the Confraternity was an attempt by the First Brothers to win some greater legitimacy among higher-paying clientele.  It could even have been conceived as a front to allow for quick smash-and-grab robberies of rich clients who let the Confraternity in out of trust.  A Military Brotherhood is far more respectable than a Private Military Company, in many eyes.

An Order on the Rise

The Confraternity’s record seems to have discredited the rumors, however.  While their equipment is a hodge-podge of ships and gear from a hundred different worlds, of often wildly varying quality and repair, they have conducted themselves as strict professionals in every recorded engagement.  They have even gone out of their way to conduct charitable missions without hope of monetary reward.  Recently, they appealed to the Church for recognition alongside the older Orders, and commissioned several chaplains within their ranks.  They have yet to receive the wider recognition as an Order that they seek, but they appear to be proceeding patiently.

The Confraternity’s recruiting process is rather more ad hoc than most other Brotherhoods.  They will take anyone who applies, no questions asked.  The training period appears to vary from a few weeks to a year.  Training depends on the operational requirements of the Chapter into which a recruit is accepted.  There are stories of recruits being immediately handed some well-worn gear and thrown immediately into an operation.  Sometimes the equipment even has the blood of the previous owner on it.  Given this apparent carelessness, their success rate is somewhat surprising.  Their tactical and technical ability can be extremely variable because of it, but they have yet to suffer a setback that could not be fixed by the more experienced Brothers.

Principles and Training

Their relations with older Brotherhoods can vary wildly, depending on the time and place.  Some, such as the Order of the Tancredus Cluster, have refused to work with them, believing them to be hopeless, reckless amateurs.  Others have expressed some wary hope that they will grow into their own.

The Confraternity does not have a set Code like the Caractacan Brotherhood.  They do have a membership oath:

“I solemnly swear to uphold the principles of the Confraternity of the Starship and Sword.  To follow orders.  To never do violence to any noncombatants.  Not to steal.  To always tell the truth.  So help me, God.”

Recent History

The Confraternity’s missions have largely been small interventions throughout the Sobretan Sector and the Jakeshan Ring.  They are not especially picky about the work they accept.  The Confraternity will often take on protection missions that many older and more prestigious Brotherhoods would consider a poor use of resources.  (Many of the older Brotherhoods would not necessarily reject the mission outright, but would “outsource” it to dependable mercenaries, rather than committing their own Brothers to it.)  Their most visible operation to date has been the Evacuation of Keder M’ell, where they effectively escorted the Daughters of St. Caban.  They also provided a driving force getting other factions to help, if only to avoid the stigma of refusing to help when the Confraternity was eager to do so.

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